No Perfect Pepsi Only Perfect Pepsi(s)

February 20, 2007

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As Tom Slee discusses in his post The Long Tail 0.2 – Introduction, Chris Anderson sees a long tail in flour.

People often ask me to name some product category that does not lend itself to Long Tail economics. My usual answer is that it would be in some undifferentiated commodity, where variety is not only absent but unwanted. Like, for instance, flour, which I remembered being sold in the supermarket in a big bag labeled “Flour.” Then I happened to step inside our local Whole Foods grocery and realized how wrong I was: Today the grocery carries more than twenty different types of flour, ranging from such basics as whole wheat and organic varieties to exotics such as amaranth and blue cornmeal. There is, amazingly enough, already a Long Tail in flour.

The man responsible for the diversity in flour, spaghetti sauce, and mustard is the food scientist Howard Moskowitz. I learned about Dr. Moskowitz through the wonderful story teller Malcolm Gladwell. According to Malcolm Gladwell in his article The Ketchup Conundrum, Dr. Moskowitz had the following revelation:

They had been asking the wrong question. There was no such thing as the perfect Diet Pepsi. They should have been looking for the perfect Diet Pepsis.

Watch this video [18 min] and remember Howard Moskowitz the next time you bite into a zesty pickle.

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3 Responses to “No Perfect Pepsi Only Perfect Pepsi(s)”


  1. […] think I’ll take a Malcolm Gladwell Perfect Pepsis stand on this one. There is no perfect UnicornCam only perfect […]

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  3. That’s cleared my thoughts. Thanks for contributing.


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